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Woman of the Year(1942)

The third time Katharine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy tried to work together was the charm. She had wanted him as the reporter in The Philadelphia Story (1940), but he wasn’t free. He wanted her to play both female roles in Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1940), but nobody agreed with him. However, when Hepburn collaborated on the script for this tale of opposites attracting, she insisted it would only work with Tracy co-starring as the sports columnist who surprises himself by falling for a political commentator (Hepburn). With Tracy on board, their on-screen chemistry was electric though biographers now suggest the romance didn’t start until their second of nine films together, Keeper of the Flame (1943). It was this film — with a story by Garson Kanin and an Oscar-winning screenplay by his brother Michael and Ring Lardner, Jr. — that set the pattern for their best pairing. Kate buzzes around Spence, alternately irritating and charming him with her eccentric, often snooty ways, until he gruffly herds her into becoming his wife. The coupling was a big hit with wartime audiences, who loved seeing the cultivated Hepburn knocked off of her pedestal. It has continued to be one of their most popular films, inspiring a TV movie remake and a Broadway musical. (d. George Stevens, 114m, Digital)

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